In the Stuart Cooper Film
“We Are Artists
” Rafael Lavato Jr
. says it best. “Martial arts can really bring everyone together, especially jiu jitsu. You see it in academies all across the world. So many times I’m on my mat and I look back and I’m sitting against the wall and I just look at the mat and I look around and I see all of these people together, sharing their techniques and sharing their energies and having fun with each other and then you realize, look this is a highschool kid, this is a business man, this is a family man; people that are just all across the spectrum, people that would never cross paths with each other any other way. It’s really amazing. I think you see that so much more with jiu jitsu than other martial arts because of the connection that you make with people.”
Brazilian jiu jitsu attracts such a diverse group of people I am always interested to hear my teammates’ stories. My interview with Sara Drysdale is part of a series of student profiles I will be presenting for Halifax Titans Women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
. It was clear that Sara was a natural the first time she stepped on the mats. It’s been my pleasure to train with her and I’m pleased to share her story with you.
Sally: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do, are you a mother, wife, daughter, social butterfly, etc?
My name is Sara Drysdale, I was born right here in Halifax. I’m 36 years old, married with 2 amazing and very high energy boys. Connor my oldest is 11 and Kyle who is 9.
Sally: What inspired you to try Brazilian jiu jitsu?
Sara: I kind of stumbled into BJJ. During the summer break I took some time off from the gym. I stuck to running and yoga classes, which I love. When my boys returned to school in September I didn’t have the motivation to get back to the gym. I was so done with doing the same thing every week. I was getting cardio and flexibility with the running and yoga but I wasn’t being challenged. I googled boxing after watching the first episode of Ultimate Fighter season 18. I found Titans gym and decided to give it a try. I started going to a boxing class when I could fit it in my schedule. One afternoon before class I spotted a sign for Women’s BJJ classes. I had no idea what BJJ was but figured I should try it out.I went to my first class and fell in love.
Sally: Have you played sports or trained in other martial arts before joining Titans Women’s BJJ?
Sara: Growing up my Dad and one of my brothers would bring me to the gym. I started off with just doing cardio until my brother introduced me to weight training. I was also involved with summer and winter soccer.
Sally: What do your family and friends think about your new activity?
My family sees BJJ as another addiction I have adopted. I tend to jump into things with both feet, maybe a little too much at times. I come home after class and torture my husband with “just let me try this move on you!” I can’t get a technique unless I practice…right. My family gets that working out is a huge part of my lifestyle, I need it to help keep me balanced.
Sally: How does BJJ fit into your lifestyle and schedule?
Sara: Fitting BJJ into my schedule is tough. My days are pretty free when the boys are in school, the nights are harder to work around. My husband and I both work shift work. When he’s on shift I’m doing the Mommy thing.
Sally: Who is your favorite athlete or fighter and why?
Sara: I was never really interested in following sports until recently. I was exposed to UFC a couple of months ago. I found myself on the computer looking up fights and fighter profiles. I would say my favorite fighter right now would be Ronda Rousey. I like that she comes across as being very real. She doesn’t change how she acts or what she says in front of the camera. What you see is what you get. She’s strong willed and determined; I respect that.
Sally: What has been your favorite technique so far?
Sara: If I have to pick a favorite technique I’m going to go with the Omoplata. This so far has been the hardest technique to get my head around. At this point nothing really flows well but this one challenges me the most.
Sally: What are your goals in BJJ? For example, are you there to get in shape, meet new people, compete?
Sara: My main goal for BJJ was fitness, to gain strength, flexibility and to challenge me both mentally and physically. Meeting new people is the icing on the cake. Everyone at Titans has been very welcoming. When it comes to competing, I’m not sure if it’s in the cards for me or not. I don’t know if I can dedicate the time required to compete. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.